The Hidden Talent Edition

11/04/2017 15:01

Welcome to the First Hidden Talent Edition!

Sure, we see and enjoy one another’s company during our many official and unofficial gatherings. But here’s a little of what some of our Colleagues do outside of the College of Business setting.

Bill Bunker: Our Wine Connoisseur in Residence


Bill is a lecturer for the COB teaching in Redding who, among other pursuits, maintains a blog showcasing his interest in the Fine Art of Wine. Now, you have access, too.  Preserved for posterity and your continued reference in our new “Blog” section above, focuses on wine and is a great resource for fellow wine lovers.  “I began blogging several years ago when I began studying wine in earnest,” says Bill. “The CSW you see in my signature line (on emails) stands for Certified Specialist of Wine, earned after passing a comprehensive exam on global wine regions, viniculture, varietals, and tasting.  Probably put more effort into that exam than my MBA—but it was lots more fun!”  No doubt, Bill! We really excel at what resonates, don’t we?

But wait, there’s a whole lot more about the talented Bill.

His lifestyle sounds pretty sweet:  “I serve as Principal Trombone for the Susanville Symphony, a group of musicians from northern California and the Reno Philharmonic, and we head for various American Viticulture Areas, returning home in June. My wife and I hit the road in our motorhome after each Fall semester and my last Symphony Concert of the season.

  “Here's a photo of my current Symphony section, right. And check out the Concert Series Poster on the left; some readers who are/were fans of TV's Survivor series may recognize the Musical Director, a former trumpet prodigy who was also cast in three separate Survivor seasons (as a hated villian, known as the Coach or Dragon Slayer)." WOW!

We  may ask: Is there any downside or challenge to report in this fast-paced, very interesting life? and so I did. Bill responds: 

"This picture of my home is a clear illustration of why I only teach Fall semesters.  Our neighborhood is frequently snowed in during the winter, with no way for me to get to Redding until roads are plowed." We raise our collective glasses to you, Bill! Glad to know you better. Hope to see you here sometime on campus too. 


Ghadir Ishqaidef’s Sketchbook

“I am not a pro, I just like drawing,” Ghadir modestly admits, and yet—look at this compilation of several of her individual pieces. Finely detailed, each tells a story about the subject and the artist. Life resides in the details, and the world is richer for those who remind us.   Thank you, Ghadir, for sharing your art with us all!

Joe and Danielle Liu – A Solid Friend to All, Now Famed Campus-Wide

 Joe, we in the College of Business know you as a guy who is always working, and someone always willing to lend a hand to help students and colleagues alike.Now most everyone on campus knows who he is, as he and his wife Danielle made headlines on Inside Chico State as a featured story. The quick brief is as follows.

Joe is the very first Faculty-in-Residence at Sutter Hall. He’s joined there by his wife Danielle and pet bunny Augustus.  The article quotes Joe as saying, “It’s a big adjustment to open yourself up and be available to everyone, but I do enjoy it.” He notes the emotional maturity of the students, and by all accounts, Joe is now successfully building strong, unforgettable relationships with student residents. As one of the students at Sutter said of him:

“I didn’t even know he was a professor. I felt like I was just making a new friend.” 

With Joe’s youthful looks, I think many of us might have said the exact same thing when we first met him. The students are lucky to have you nearby, Joe. You and Danielle will no doubt have a positive impact upon many young lives – just as you do on many considerably older ones, too.    



Colleen Robb—At the Forefront of Community Service

From the time of her arrival here at the College of Business, Colleen has become known in the community for her involvement in worthwhile causes. Recently taking a role as Marketing Chair of the Torres Shelter’s annual gala, she set about the task of reinventing the annual event to replace their traditionally held Christmas Tree Auction.  Below, Colleen describes how the project, #gratitudewins, developed, and shares details on the longer-term plan to expand the campaign to support the interests of the City of Chico in general.

“My friend and colleague, Valerie Reddemann, and I brainstormed for quite a bit {to develop a successful alternative to the annual Tree Auction}. Gratitude is such a large part of happiness and wellbeing, and we wanted to bring that into focus around all the shelter guests that are grateful for the Torres Shelter. The campaign grew from there, and we wanted to launch an official Chico Gratitude Day as World Gratitude Day is September 21st.

“We approached Mayor Sean Morgan about proclaiming September 21st Chico Gratitude day, and he was happy to do so. We saw it as Torres’ gift to Chico for supporting it. While the campaign will temporarily focus on the upcoming Gratitude Gala on November 18th, we plan to continue Chico Gratitude Day as well as the campaign around the hashtag #gratitudewins. We want to fill newsfeeds with positive messages and hope more Chicoans will post videos and photos about what they are grateful for with the hashtag #gratitudewins. With our nation facing such a struggle due to natural disasters as well as a divisiveness on so many issues, we wanted to bring a reminder to everyone that we have much to be grateful for here in Chico. We have an amazing group of volunteers on the marketing committee who all bring a different skill set to the table. It’s been an amazing experience!”

This sounds like a powerful community-based campaign by which many may benefit now and in the future. We can help with their fundraiser, and contribute to our community, by following this ongoing project on . Best of luck to Colleen and her team!


Saying Goodbye to a Cherished Colleague: A Tribute to Bob Montgomery


We in the College of Business were saddened to hear of Department of Management lecturer Bob Montgomery’s passing on September 20th, after an extended illness. Those of us who knew and worked with him have special memories, as do the students he inspired. His full obituary can be found here. Please note, services will be held on Friday at Our Divine Savior Catholic Church in Chico at 1 p.m. for those able to attend.

Maria Mendez remembers Bob as “incredibly kind when I came to Chico for my interview. He observed my class, provided Mike with positive feedback, and then generously shared that feedback with me. I have not met many people willing to do that. I was encouraged by his kind words and feedback, and met with him many times after that in the corridor. He was always so nice to talk to, and I am very sad to hear of his passing.”

“I remember his welcoming smile and handshake,” adds Angela Casler.  "Bob’s unpretentious dedication to the department of Management is a testament to teaching excellence. We strive to change students’ lives with the Chico Experience, and rigorous study to prepare them for success. We lead by example as mentors and confidantes. Bob’s legacy will live on through his students and the faculty who continue to bring his smile and grace into the classroom. From all of us, we thank Bob for his dedication and pride!”

Management Department Chair, Mike Rehg, adds: “He was engaged with students and loved to teach. He carried his oxygen with him to class…talk about dedication. It makes me think about it means to be passionate about teaching. He really made an effort to get through to students, and I am sure they benefitted by that. We will all miss the dedication and collegiality he brought.”

I (Linda) knew Bob from chatting a few times a week in an office in Glenn that he shared with Mike Rehg. I was teaching a class across the hall, and we’d often make the trip upstairs on the elevator together, he with his oxygen tank, me limping with a painful hip injury.  We’d joke about getting to our classes “no matter what.” I recall his humor, his depth, his determination, and his concern for others, which extended to those “furry friends” mentioned in his formal obituary. Mostly, I remember that Bob loved what he did.

In his honor I’ll close with this portion of a favorite poet’s work. I think he’d totally get it.

“Listen, whatever you see and love—
that’s where you are.”
― Mary OliverDog Songs